Growing old, but staying strong
Most people probably image growing old being filled with family, friends, and freedom. Freedom from work responsibility, freedom to travel without the kids, freedom to take time for the things we missed earlier in life, and the freedom to just get up and go as we please. Unfortunately, this is not the way it turns out for many people as they age. Medical problems prevent millions of people from enjoying the better years because of frailty. Common complaints such as being too tired, too weak, or too afraid of a fall, can make getting older a drag for many folks. In order to enjoy the better years, people have to take better care of themselves now! This is especially important for women who are prone to becoming frail.
A recent study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society states that women who are obese after age 70 are more likely to become frail, and perhaps disabled, than women who maintain a normal weight. Frailty syndrome means the women showed at least three out of five signs of frailty: weakness, slowness, weight loss, low physican activity, and exhaustion. Women who were overweight, but not obese, were at a higher risk for prefrailty syndrome. Prefrailty syndrome meant that they have one or two signs of frailty. The point is that you need better medicine to prepare for your better years.
It is often that we hear people claim they are practicing anti-aging by taking a calcium supplement for bone strength. Although calcium is important for functions in the body, it is no panacea for preventing frailty and promoting an active lifestyle. One of the best long-term solutions for reversing every sign of frailty is EXERCISE. However, we have to start at a younger age than our 70ís. True, it is never too late to start. However, most people would choose never having any signs of frailty rather than trying to reverse one. The best preventative medicine may be as simple as good nutrition and regular exercise.
Even moderate exercise will help keep our weight down, our muscle integrity good, our bones strong, and our energy high. Not only does a person reap the physical benefits, but challenging the body helps keep the mind sharp also. One thing everyone wants upon getting up in years is mental acuity. Now we know all the benefits of exercise, so what is stopping us? Is it because we donít feel old yet, so we will start when the signs of aging come along? By then it is too late to exercise purely for benefits and prevention. Once you are getting signs of frailty, you have to work so much harder to reverse them, than had you maintained an active lifestyle to begin with. Getting started is always the most difficult. There are many of us who feel that we are independent and have no trouble making decisions or accomplishing tasks on our own. However, when it comes to exercise, even we individualists need to team up for support. Losing weight and strengthening the body, is not always easy to do alone. A person should be seen by a natural medicine specialist to make recommendations for optimal nutrition and exercise. Once that happens, buddy up with your spouce or friend and get moving!
If you are recently retired, become involved in a sport, or begin exercising regularly. Some of the most inspiring stories come from athletes in their 70ís, 80ís, and even 90ís. Many of these athletes can wipe the floor with athletes many years their junior! Even if you do not want to compete in a race, an active lifestyle can have the same benefits of helping you feel young. Yes, genetics have much to do with how long we live and how gracefully we age, but there is a lot of work we need to do for ourselves too. Think about how important saving for retirement is to you. You should feel that same urgency to put effort into an active lifestyle. If you need help getting started on your way to a healthy set of better years, give us a call!